Though sex ratio in the country has improved from 927 in 1991 to 940 in 2011 as per Census 2011(Prov.), Child Sex Ratio has dipped from 945 females per thousand males in 1991 to 914 females per 1000 males in 2011.
Some of the reasons for female foeticide are son preference, low status of women, social and financial security associated with sons, socio-cultural practices including dowry & violence against women, small family norm and consequent misuse of diagnostic techniques with the intention of female foeticide.
Government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to curb female foeticide in the country. For prohibition of sex selection, before and after conception, and for regulation of prenatal diagnostic techniques, the Government has enacted a comprehensive legislation the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, further amended in 2003.
The measures include the following:-
· The Government have intensified effective implementation of the said Act and amended various rules covering provision for sealing, seizure and confiscation of unregistered ultrasound machines and punishment against unregistered clinics. Regulation of use of portable ultrasound machines within the registered premises only has been notified. Restriction on medical practitioners to conduct ultrasonography at maximum of two ultrasound facilities within a district has been placed. Registration fees have been enhanced. Rules have been amended to provide for advance intimation in change in employees, place, address or equipment.
· The Government has requested all the State/UT Governments to strengthen implementation of the Act and take timely steps to stop use of illegal sex determination.
· Hon’ble Prime Minister has urged the Chief Ministers of all the States to provide personal leadership to reverse the declining trend in child sex ratio and address the neglect of the girl child through focus on education and empowerment
· Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has intensified efforts to exhort the States and UTs to pay utmost attention to serious implementation of the PC&PNDT Act.
· The Central Supervisory Board (CSB) under the PNDT Act has been reconstituted and regular meetings are being held.
· Matter has been taken up with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to block sex selection advertisement on websites.
· The National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) have been reconstituted and inspections of ultrasounds diagnostic facilities have been intensified. Inspection have been carried out in many states including Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
· The Government is rendering financial support to the States and UTs for Information, Education and Communication campaigns and for strengthening structure for the implementation of the Act under the National Rural Health Mission.
· States have been advised to focus on District/Blocks/Villages with low Child Sex Ratio to ascertain the causes, plan appropriate Behaviour Change Communication campaigns and effectively implementation provisions of the PC&PNDT Act.
· States are undertaking various Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities to create awareness about the Act including public messages through print & electronic media, capacity building workshops for programme managers and judicial officers, Grant in Aid to Non-Governmental Organizations for community mobilization and involvement of religious leaders for awareness generation etc.
This information was given by Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Shri Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on March 5, 2013.